Haunui prepares to defend kickboxing title

By Hone-Haunui Rapana

Hiki-te-tapu Haunui is preparing for the "Battle in the Waikato" which takes place on February 28 in Hamilton.

He'll be defending his New Zealand Works Kickboxing Association title.

Haunui has strategically pushed his distractions aside to remain focused on the task at hand.

He says, “If you keep practising, you'll be happy with the fruits of your labour.”

The thought behind a fighter's name is what determines a fighter's capabilities.  Haunui says his championship titles are the reason why he has his particular ring name.

“Swift is my name in the ring, the way I move and dance is the reason why,” he explains.

With eight years' experience in mixed martial arts, Haunui has been fortunate to win both national and international belts.

“This is the four-man title I won in Te Kuiti, four of us fought in one night.  This is the title I won last year, I beat him in the 5th round.  Winning that title opened the door to fight for the South Pacific title,” says Haunui.

Haunui told Te Kāea that he trains at Te Whare Oranga in Huntly because of the strong influence of Māori in that environment, it's that very reason why he hopes to give back to his community.

“Give them the skills I have learnt so they too can fight at this level, as well as conditioning themselves.”

He has just under one month to prepare for the New Zealand Works Kickboxing Association Championship, his opponent is yet to be announced.